skip navigation
Stand by All Networks

Stand by All Networks(1942)

TCM Messageboards
Post your comments here

Remind Me

TCMDb Archive MaterialsView all archives (0)


powered by AFI

Ben Fallon, a noted on-the-spot radio commentator, is covering a conflagration at the Brooklyn waterfront when Monty Johnson, a private investigator working for Ben, confirms that the fire was set by Nazi saboteurs. When Ben broadcasts the charge, Col. Stanton of the FCC complains about the reporter's rashness to Ben's boss, Grant Neally. After breaking the arson story, Ben drives to the Air Derby to meet Lela Cramer, an amateur pilot affiliated with his radio station. Lela wins the race, and upon returning to the station, becomes furious when she learns that Neally has hired Frances Prescott as her new assistant. That night, Ben receives a report of an American tanker attacked by an enemy submarine that is burning off the New York coast and flies to the spot to broadcast a description of the rescue. While there, Ben notices a sailor on a freighter flashing signals by mirror to an aircraft hovering over the scene. Later, Ben questions Banion, the ship's captain, about the signals and when Banion pleads ignorance, Ben puts Monty on the case. When news comes that a troop ship has been torpedoed, Ben links the incident with the signals he saw and charges sabotage. While Ben is in Lela's office one day, Monty phones and tells him that he has compiled a list of enemy agents. Ben hurries off to meet Monty at his office, but by the time he arrives, Monty has been murdered. After notifying Ryan of the murder, Ben returns to Lela's office and finds Fran working late. Ben offers to walk her home and along the way, a tramp approaches and hands him a note, warning him to drop his investigation. The tramp tells Ben that a one-armed peddlar paid him to deliver the note. At Monty's office, Ben questions the night watchman, who admits that he was drugged with a candy bar given to him by a one-armed peddlar. While searching the office, Fran finds a scrap of paper with the name "Ariel" scribbled on it. The next day, Ben's secretary, Nora Cassidy, receives a letter from Monty, written before his death, containing the names of the saboteurs. Shocked to find Lela's name on the list, Ben is about to read the names over the radio when Neally cuts off the broadcast and fires him. Later that night, Fran visits Ben to comfort him. As they listen to the radio, the news of the bombing of Pearl Harbor is broadcast. When Ben hears his own voice urging listeners to take the law into their own hands, he realizes that someone is impersonating him to foment unrest. The next day, Ben sends Nora to the library to research the meaning of "Ariel." Anxious to find out what Ben knows, Lela invites Fran to dinner and then drugs and kidnaps her. Sensing that he is in danger. Ben dons a bulletproof vest. After he is shot at on the street, Ben returns to his apartment and finds Ryan waiting to question him about another incendiary broadcast. When Nora comes to warn Ben that Fran may be in danger, Ben flees police custody and hurries to Fran's apartment and there finds a ticket to the Ariel Ship Museum at pier 197. Hurrying to the radio station, Ben tells Neally that Fran is in danger and Neally responds that Fran is an undercover government agent. At the docks, Ben sees Lela board a ship and then he goes to a café to phone Ryan. Before Ben can report his location, however, he is also captured by the spies and imprisoned aboard the ship with Fran. Tracing the phone call to pier 197, Ryan, Nora and the police descend on the docks. Noticing a boat named "Ariel," Nora exclaims that Ben is onboard. Below decks, meanwhile, Victor, the one-armed man, makes a final recording of Ben's voice. When Nora, intent on finding Ben, conducts her own investigation, she is captured by the spies. Victor then cooly informs the trio that he has placed a bomb on the ship, which he plans to set adrift on a collision course with a troop ship. On shore, Ryan observes Lela and her friends march off the boat and into a waiting car and pursues them. Onboard the ship, meanwhile, Ben breaks out of a locked room and disarms the bomb. With the spy ring smashed, Ben and Fran are married and are about to leave on their honeymoon when Ben must dash off to cover a hurricane.